Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has insisted that his party is selecting candidates for all seats for next year’s elections and will only ask those selected for constituencies allocated to Alliance partners to step aside once agreement has been reached.
Mwonzora said there was no clash at all with party leader Morgan Tsvangirai who is also the Alliance president.
Tsvangirai said on Saturday no decision had been reached and Mwonzora did not speak on behalf of the Alliance.
Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller faction of the MDC, is the Alliance spokesman.
Mwonzora told Newsday that he had spoken to Tsvangirai and cleared the issue.
“I have been in discussions with the president and we agreed on my position and what I meant as regards the party’s candidate selection and the alliance,” Mwonzora said.
“Nothing has changed. The MDC will proceed with candidate selection. As and when an agreement is reached by the alliance partners, we will ask some of our candidates to step aside, especially those whose chosen constituencies would have been allocated to another party. We hope all parties are doing the same and we have communicated this to our members who are seeking to be confirmed as the party’s candidates.”
Ncube accused Mwonzora of undermining opposition efforts to form a grand coalition to contest the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in next year’s elections which are six months away.
“The agreement we signed allocates a seat to each party and as I speak all parties are working to select their candidates. We agreed that we will not contest each other from the president to the local authorities and president Tsvangirai is clear on that,” Ncube said.
Mwonzora responded: “As secretary-general of the party, I have a constitutional duty to call for candidates’ applications and I must do that within reasonable time before an election. We are six months from an election and need our members who will contest the election to raise resources and campaign in time. For now, however, we need to have them in place and help them raise the necessary resources in good time…..
“It has been eight months and we have no agreement regarding seat allocation within the Alliance. We need these negotiations to be concluded and as the MDC-T administrator, I want those involved to finalise this issue now.”